Words In Scripture Explored – Salvation
Salvation! What is it?
Salvation means a rescue or having been saved! As humans, from the time we are born, we inherit a sinful nature and are alienated from God. But God has seen fit to offer a way back into relationship with Him, so that we may no longer be alienated from Him! This offer of relationship is a result of Jesus, who was both fully God and fully man, dying on the cross.
Who decides who is saved?
The question “Who decides the saved?” has been asked for centuries!! There are two extremist views – one view says, “God has decided who is saved and nothing can be done about it.” The other view says that God will grant salvation to all.
But we need to see these two views in the balance of Scripture. Firstly God does choose individuals to fulfil His purposes (Romans 9) and He chooses those who are, or will be, saved (John 15v16). These chosen ones are called the elect. However, it is also His will that all people should be saved (1 Timothy 2v3-4) and that nobody should perish (2 Peter 3v9).
So in reading those two statements, we must accept both these Scriptural statements as equally and absolutely true. When we use words about God with a time element such as 'chose', 'elect', we need to consider God's infinite time framework, timelessness, and not in our human finite time framework. So God offers salvation to all, and leaves the responsibility to take up the offer with humans.
Saved from and saved to?
As a Christian you are now saved from everlasting alienation from Him, for that’s what Hell is. As a Christian you are saved to an everlasting relationship with Him, for that’s what Heaven is. Salvation is for all people of all time and of every nation. As a Christian, you have accepted the offer.
Salvation! What do you do with it?
Now you are to do what Paul suggests in Philippians 2v12-13: “Dear friends, you always followed my instructions when I was with you. And now that I am away, it is even more important. Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.” So now you live to please God alone and not your self.
Go this week and tell somebody this Good News of salvation that God offers, and continue to show the transforming power of God in your life. For as one of the early church fathers Irenaeus said, “To follow Jesus is to participate in salvation.”